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Line Striping Painting Equipment – A Guide

One area of painting that is a bit more of a niche is line striping. Line striping is used for a variety of work from lining sports fields and parking lots to striping roads and runways for airports. Whether you have line striped in the past or are considering line striping as a part of your painting business there are some unique things to know when getting into line striping. In our guide we will cover common line striping requirements and equipment considerations when line striping.

Line Striping Paint Types

The first key to line striping is to determine the type of paint that your line striping work will require. In general there are 3 broad types of line striping systems that are commonly used. First is a basic line striping paint, second is a paint and glass bead, and third is a unique type of line striping that is called thermoplastics.  Basic line striping paint is applied with a line striper that uses a standard airless spray gun that is mounted on a bracket facing down.  Basic line striping paint is typically used in parking lots, athletic fields and other areas where having car lights reflect is not as important. If you will be painting roads or anything related to traffic generally you will require glass beads and thermoplastic line striping paint. Glass beads are important because they create light reflection which is important for striping in traffic areas as to ensure cars can see if they are close to going over a line in the roadway. Thermoplastic paint is usually used because it is generally a more durable paint than basic line striping paint.

Line Striping Painting Equipment Selection

Once you know the type of line striping you will be doing, the next step is to choose the best line striping equipment for your needs. Will cover the options you have when choosing a line striper and then provide a few options that would be suited dependent on the options you decide you need.

Option 1 – Thermoplastic or Regular Line Striping paint

The first option you will have to figure out is if you will be using basic line striping paint or thermoplastic paint. Thermoplastic paint will require a special type of line striper that heats the material when applying it, thermoplastic stripers can be seen here. Basic line striping paint is applied without being heated up. Thermoplastic line striping equipment has become required in certain applications like road striping and other areas where durable coatings is critical.

Option 2 – Number of Line Striping Guns

The first choice that will help narrow down the line striper that will be best (other than the material you will spray) is how many line striping airless guns you will need. If you need wide spray patterns or multiple lines at a time then you should consider a line striper that is designed for multiple spray guns.

Option 3 – Line Striping Gun control

If you decide on using multiple spray guns on your line striper, you can decide on control options for the spray guns. Different manufacturers offer different control types for line stripers. The most basic control option is two manually triggered spray guns. This can be tricky to get consistent results as you have to control the line striper and starting and stopping each gun as you move. An automatic line striping unit can be programmed for your particular project to automatically create pulsing lines and similar requirements, which can ensure consistent striping and make it easier to use your line striper with a riding attachment.

Option 4– Glass Bead Systems

A third option to evaluate is if you will need glass beads in your lines.  As we mentioned typically any traffic marking painting work will require glass beads.  Generally you will choose between a pressurized or gravity feed bead system, a pressurized bead system will be more effective at supplying beads but can be a bit more costly.

Option 5 – Laser Outline Systems

A final option is whether your line striper will include a laser guidance system with it. A laser guidance system uses a box and a laser on the line striper that enables you to ensure you are going in a straight line. This can eliminate the need to use a chalk line or similar method of ensuring you are moving in a straight line while line striping parking lots, trails, and other surfaces.

Option 6 – Riding Stripers

Riding stripers make large projects like runways and long walking trails efficient. You can use a riding platform and connect it with a single manual gun striper but usually best results are achieved with a riding striper that has automatic line striping guns.

Overview of Line Striping Options

Single Gun Line Striper – best for parking lots, turf marking, and smaller projects

Graco Line Lazer 3400

Titan Powrliner 3500

Glass Bead Kits –  used for roads and other reflective striping work

Glass Bead Dispensers

Glass bead kits are offered with one tank, two tank and gravity or pressure feed options. Pressure feed units tend to be more effective but also more expensive.

Multi Gun Line Stripers – used for larger spray pattern lines and large projects

Line Lazer 130 HS – For use with up to 2 guns with smaller tips

Line Lazer 200 HS – With optional Bead System and 2 automatic guns

Multi Gun Line Stripers with Bead Systems and optional Laser Guidance

Line Lazer 3900 and 5900.

Line Lazer 200 HS with glass bead and laser

Line Laser 130 HS with additional glass bead upgrade and optional laser guidance upgrade


Ultimately line striping effectively will depend on getting the right type of line striper for the line painting you will need to do. For smaller jobs and smaller lines, a basic single gun line striper will be great, for larger projects automatic gun units with laser guidance can be helpful. If you need reflective beads you will need a glass bead unit on your striper, thermoplastic line striping requires a special kind of equipment. This gives you a pretty good overview of line striping.

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